Break, 2016, 2k digital – colour, 14 mins. ©Edwin Mingard
‘Break’ is a short, narrative artist’s film by Edwin Mingard, which depicts an immigrant – Yousef – who is at a point of physical and mental collapse as he struggles to make a living in London. The story is based on several life experiences that Mingard collected via a series of interviews, subsequently knitted together to form the semi-fictional narrative.
The film invites viewers to look at Yousef’s daily life and how he starts to think of himself not as an immigrant but as a ‘person’. There is an element of ambiguity in the film: the viewer is unaware of Yousef’s visa situation, how long he has been in London, and the reasons that brought him to the city. For Yousef, the definition of home is becoming vague as he embarks on a journey that sees him struggle with his identity as the question ‘To stay or not to stay?’ seems to linger like a haunting spectre.
London-based British artist Edwin Mingard works principally with moving image, making standalone artists’ film and installations. He often takes on mainstream and accessible forms – documentary, music video, glossy magazine in order to engage with wide public rather than just art people and the gallery environment. The intertwining strands of technological and social change are central to Mingard’s works, and of particular interest is the combined rise of computer processing power and the network that has happened within his own lifetime. His works has been commissioned by the BFI, RSA, Northern Film+Media, the Wellcome Trust, Film London and many other bodies, including academic institutions, public and independent arts organisations and festivals.